More places to explore in St Ives

Have you ever been to the Leach Pottery at the top of The Stennack in St Ives. It is a nice intimate space where you can take a workshop and learn to make your own pottery. You can also visit the museum itself and see a wide range of ceramics, see the kilns used to make the amazing creations, or simply browse around the shop.

The St Ives Parish Church by the harbour has regular services and concerts so if you pass by do have a look at notices to see what is going on. Perhaps in a nod to its nautical roots, the beautiful building inside is slightly reminiscent of the hull of a boat.

These are among some of the many things you can do if you visit St Ives. You need not come by car should you wish not to. St Ives is wonderfully served by a scenic train line, the attractions and amenities are all within walking distance, and you’ll find everything you need or weren’t able to bring in town. And if you leave the car at home, you’ll contribute towards maintaining it as a green space of natural beauty.

Many people come to St Ives for the seaside and beaches. Indoor work can be a bit too much at times so take a break and enjoy the outdoors with us. If you fancy kayakking, you can get in touch with the St Ives Surf School to book a kayak trip around the coast. Kayakking is only one of the things that the surf school does, but basically if it involves water, they are the first port of call! It is best to check with them beforehand though, in case certain weather prevents the running of some of the many activities they organise.

There is a farmers’ market every Thursday at St Ives Guildhall. St Ives Farmers’ Market offers local produce and you can find all sorts of condiments and treats that are distinctly St Ives-sian in nature to remind you of your time here when you sadly, eventually have to depart. Or you can simply get what you need for a picnic lunch.

The West side of Porthmeor has a little waterfall and little river that children can play in. It is possible that they could spend a whole summer playing in the water and it is a lovely vibrant place at times, with the sound of children going about their make-up adventures.

Or if you prefer a bit more running space for children, head for the Porthmeor Beach itself. You can sometimes see writers and artists going about their work there, the picturesque scene being source of inspiration.

Another quiet space you can visit is the Trewyn Tropical Gardens. The gardens offer you a little bit of peace and quiet and respite if you ever get overwhelmed by all the things St Ives has to offer!

Much has been written about St Ives historical links with art. The beauty of this town drew artists to the area in droves and to this day the reputation of the town as a center of art remains. There are also many courses in various specialisms of art that you can participate in. If you head down to Porthmeor Studios, you can take part in Life Drawing classes every week. The Cafe Art in Royal Square is a fusion of an art gallery with a cafe. Enjoy the works of art along with your caffeine fix!

At 54 Lemons, you can create your own distinctive paint pot. You can start by choosing a blank shape from the many on offer and paint it up. You can then leave it with the staff for firing and then collect it at the end of your holiday. It is a lovely craft for little ones to do. If you ever drop by with children, you can also enjoy their lovely coffee and cake while the little people paint away!

I Should Coco on Fore Street is also an amazing shop where you can participate in chocolate making workshops! It is a good place for little ones to come up with amazing creations, and for those who wish to just cut to the chase, the delicious chocolates on sale are always waiting!

If you are into history, you can search for the oldest house in town on Fish Street and see if housing and construction styles have changed over the years.

The Sloop is the oldest public house in town, with a life dating back to 1312! Wonder if there any spooks around?

If you hang around the harbour and pier, you should be able to spot a few seals. The seals are pretty smart and have cottoned on to the fact that when the fishing boats come in, they may be lucky to get an odd scrap of a meal. St Ives does attract really brilliant animals to its shores. You may be lucky and see sunfish, dolphins and if you have binoculars or head to the tower, look out for whales!

Speaking of lookout, St Nicholas Chapel on The Island, the promontory that juts out into the sea – used to be used by smugglers as a lookout. Its ideal site and the view it offered gave a brilliant vantage point. Nowadays it lends its scenic backdrop for wedding blessings.

St Leonards Chapel on Smeaton’s Pier was historically a chapel where luck and good weather were sought by local fishermen before they embarked on their fishing trips.

If you are into more scenic spots, the headland on the far side of Porthmeor Beachs, also known as Man’s Head, is just the spot for a scenic walk.

Further inland, the St Ives Tennis Club is a brilliant flexible club that lets you “pay and play”, rather than make you take up the cost of membership that you are unlikely to need if you are just on holiday. The club has 2 tennis courts which are located behind Porthminster Beach.

The places we have recommended are all within walking distance of the town of St Ives. One of the attractions of St Ives is that it has a high density of amenities and attractions in the town, such that you can pretty much get around on foot once you are here. The town is actually named after St Ia and every February there is a Feast Day parade. If you are feeling adventurous, go hunting for the well of St Ia, or St Ia’s well – see how the town name is derived?

The town’s proximity to the coast means that it has always been a family favourite destination. There are no shortage of places for kids to play.

Ayr Field and Play Park has a huge climbing frame, slide, and bucket swing, so your kids can play in a easily-monitored area, but if they fancy football or just running around, there is a big field for ball games, scooting, and cycling. Younger kids may find the park at Penbeagle Hill more suitable with its baby swings. Behind the Penbeagle Hill park is a big field for ball games and also a skate park, so they can romp around with their rollerblades, scooters or bicycles.

St Ives is really one of the perfect holiday destinations and the town has regularly won various national awards to back that up. So come on down to enjoy a holiday you will remember! And if you need a place to stay, why not consider staying with Blue Mist?

The Blue Mist Cottage comfortably houses a party of eight at The Warren, and the beach is literally minutes away.

If you are coming in a slightly smaller group, try the Blue Mist apartment, which is set over two floors and sleeps six.

The Blue Mist studio sleeps two and provides an quiet, intimate space from which to explore the town.

All Blue Mist properties offer a high degree of comfort for the best value. Get in touch to kick off your St Ives holiday tour – it will be one to remember!

St Ives adventures on foot

There is an abundance of things you can do at St Ives, making it an ideal location for holidaying. Even if you do not drive, the train line with a magnificent coastal view that takes you right to the heart of things ensures you won’t miss out on the many things that makes this seaside town one of the best places to visit. In fact, once you get here, you may find it difficult or unnecessary to leave town. Here is a list of some things you could do, easily accessible without having to drive anywhere.

  1. Try surfing. Many people come to St Ives for the surfing. You don’t need to buy new surfing gear if you are thinking of trying it out as a one-off. The St Ives Surf School on Porthmeor Beach offers surfing lessons and you can rent your surfing gear from term too. Ring them on 01736 793938 for more information.
  2. Swimming. If there is the odd shower, swimming is an indoor activity you can do whilst you are here. There are several swimming pools you can go to in St Ives. The St Ives Leisure Centre has both a big swimming pool and a smaller one for younger children. The latter pool has a slide which they will enjoy whizzing down. There are also other pools at The Garrack, St Ives Harbour Hotel and Tregenna Castle which you can use too. And if you are feeling adventurous, head for the sea! Porthminster Beach is quite calm and more suited for swimming, but whenever you are swimming in the sea, do exercise some caution as the tides can come in quite quickly.
  3. Rockpooling – playing in the sea is not just limited to activities like swimming. Have a sniff around in rockpools and see what treasures you can find.  At low tide, you can find some rock pools around Porthmeor Beach.
  4. Crabbing – for something a bit more sedate, purchase a crab line, a bucket,  net and some bait and head off to the old pier behind Smeaton’s Pier. Get your crab line set up, take in the atmosphere or simply catch up with some holiday reading, and see what awaits you after a short while!
  5. Fishing – fishing is permitted off the rocks around St Ives. The late winter to spring period usually sees plenty of mackerel around, so grab your rod and line!
  6. Tate St Ives – one of only four Tates in the world, this famous art gallery reopens in October 2017  with a new extension to complement its existing collection that commemorates St Ives’ place as a meeting point of art, maritime activities and architecture.
  7. The Barbara Hepworth Museum is worth a little exploration if you ever come down to St Ives. The museum and tranquil gardens which are set right in the heart of St Ives contain beautiful sculptures for you to appreciate. There are also other Barbara Hepworth sculptures around town so look out for them!
  8. Boat Trips – returning back to the sea, if crabbing is not something for you, you can go on a boat trip. Book at the harbour – and try your luck at sea fishing! Alternatively, you can take the boat to Godrevy Lighthouse, the inspiration for many a writer and artist, or head for Seal Island to see them frolicking around!

A coastal walk is a very romantic thing to do at night with your loved one. The lighthouse, with its searchlight projecting into the distance, surrounded by the quiet crash of waves, is quite reminiscent of being at the theatre or the early days of the silent movie. But gentlemen take note – as the waves crash to the shore and you hold the hand of your beloved one, the lighthouse is a strong visual reminder that you will always be the shining light for your significant other. How romantic!

  1. Porthmeor Beach is arguably the best surfing beach found in St Ives. In addition, it has the most rugged coast line in St Ives. A walk along the beach will give you magnificent views of the area; don’t forget your camera!
  2. On another rainy day you can source for local books at St Ives Bookseller, which you can find on Fore Street. There you can locate an extensive range of books both for children and adults alike. Local books and maps can also be found here, if you are interested in learning more about the area. The St Ives Library is also an alternative literary haunt for its range of local history books and art work. The area specially dedicated children’s area has books and colouring to keep younger readers entertained while older siblings browse.
  3. The Island – despite what the name suggests, the Island isn’t actually an island. It is actually a promontory. This is another lovely place for an evening walk and to recline on one of the benches that line the way, to enjoy the amazing views.
  4. Porthgwidden Beach – this beach is one that is suitable for families. The lovely expanse of sand gives the children a gorgeous sandy beach to play on, and the beach is sheltered and hence the waves that crash against the shore are not as large as the ones found on other beaches.
  5. St Ives Museum occupies what was formerly the site of the Wheal Dream mine. It is a source of fascinating information about St Ives, and how it has developed over the centuries.
  6. Smeaton’s Pier and Lighthouse remains a working pier and so if you are walking around having a look do be mindful of the fishermen who are working there, and also of the equipment lying around.
  7. When the tide is out at St Ives Harbour, you can walking along the wet sand and right up to the end of the pier to get close to the moored boats.
  8. St Ives has a rich history of arts and crafts do why not pick up a new skill while you’re  here? At the Barnoon Workshop, you can choose from and sign up for a huge range of art and craft workshops, for all abilities and age groups.
  9. From your little screen to the big screen – go to the cinema!  St Ives’ cinema shows the latest releases so I’d you are a movie fanatic you won’t have to miss out while you are away. If you prefer live performances, check out the St Ives theatre for the latest shows!

There are so many things to do in St Ives, this list hardly covers them all – check back later for more things to do while you are here. There will no time for an idle moment, and best of all, all these places are easily reached on foot, so you can maximise the time you have here!